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Every Georgian Counts : Understanding Homelessness in Your Community.

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Presentation on theme: "Every Georgian Counts : Understanding Homelessness in Your Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Every Georgian Counts : Understanding Homelessness in Your Community

2 Who Are Georgia’s Homeless? Unsheltered Homeless * Streets * Camping * Car * Substandard Housing * Sheltered Homeless * Emergency Shelter * Transitional Housing * Motel Vouchers * Precariously Housed * Doubled Up * Motels *

3 Definitions Sheltered Homeless Persons People who reside in an emergency shelter or in transitional/supportive housing for homeless persons Unsheltered Homeless Persons People who reside in a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, encampments, dilapidated buildings [or who face eminent homelessness from eviction] Precariously Housed Persons People who are temporarily staying with family or friends due to loss of housing or economic hardship People who are living in motel situations due to loss of housing or economic hardship 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

4 Who is at risk for becoming homeless?  People with low incomes o1.3 million living in poverty in Georgia o595,665 people in Georgia have incomes ½ the poverty level oGeorgia’s Housing Wage: $29,084  People with personal vulnerabilities oMental illness oSubstance abuse oFamily violence

5 Statewide Estimates Data compiled from 2007 and 2008 counts Model for unsheltered homeless plus shelter count Over 20,000 people at a single point in time Estimated that over 75,000 people will be homeless in Georgia sometime during the year

6 Why Does This Matter? Reasons to Understand Homelessness in your Community Increased Funding/Resources Long Term Community Planning Development of a Ten Year Plan Hidden Costs Economic Benefits Community Collaboration Awareness

7 Costs of homelessness Study of Athens hospitals (Athens Regional and St. Mary's) – 576 homeless people made 7,000 visits in 2005 $2.4 million spent in 2005 by Athens hospitals Burke County – night of January 27, inmates/25 were homeless

8 Methods for Understanding Homelessness

9 Overview of Common Methods to Understand Homelessness in Your Community Service Count Surveys collected by service providers over a designated period of time asking about homelessness on a certain night Street Count One night census of unsheltered living on streets and in woods In-depth Survey Administered to a sample of individuals asking detailed questions Homeless Management Information Systems Collects information about individuals/families served

10 Service Count Methodology for Unsheltered and Precariously Housed Housing screening surveys administered at service locations and other places where homeless people congregate or live Point In Time Surveys collected during the following week

11 January 2008 Service Count: Dalton-Whitfield Collected 417 surveys Identified 180 homeless persons 40 agencies throughout the county participated Part of the work of the Committee for Housing Stability (created in 2005) Count part of larger community effort to work cooperatively to address housing issues Lead agency – Dalton/Whitfield County Community Development Corporation

12 Street Count Methodology: Atlanta One night canvassing of City Volunteers, Service Providers and Formerly Homeless Individuals participate Collects a count of any individuals/families that are obviously unsheltered on the night of the count Sleeping on the streets, in cars or in structures not suitable for human habitation Individuals/Families are not approached and all demographics are collected based on observation only

13 Mixed Methodology: Gwinnett County Surveys administered at service locations Collected surveys at locations where homeless individuals/families were known to stay Collected surveys at hotel/motels where they knew families were living Planning an in-depth survey with a sample of individuals/families based on results of service based count

14 January 2008 Homeless Count

15 January 2008 Homeless Count Surveys 1578 surveys collected (by DCA and in 33 counties) 2,041 people Housing Status Precariously Housed Sheltered Homeless Unsheltered Homeless Housing Status Undetermined

16 2008 Homeless Surveys by Age

17 How many are homeless in Georgia? Data compiled from 2007 and 2008 counts About 20,400 people at a single point in time About 75,000 people will be homeless in Georgia sometime during the year

18 Costs of homelessness Study of Athens hospitals (Athens Regional and St. Mary’s) – 576 homeless people made 7,000 visits in 2005 $2.4 million spent in 2005 by Athens hospitals Burke County – night of January 27, inmates/25 were homeless

19 2009 Homeless Count Objective -- Count of homeless families and individuals Understand the scope of the problem locally and statewide HUD requirement for McKinney-Vento Programs 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

20 January 2009 Homeless Count

21 Why Participate? (not in order of importance) Learn more about housing issues in your community Build a housing and social services team around a concrete activity Build your case for funding Get ready for the 2010 Census Build community support Develop data for local comprehensive plans and consolidated plans (entitlement communities) 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

22 Count Methodology for Unsheltered and Precariously Housed Housing screening surveys administered at service locations and other places where homeless people congregate or live Point In Time – January 25, 2009 Surveys collected during the following week DCA will arrange for data input and analysis of surveys 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

23 Questionnaire Designed to be administered by staff or by volunteers No more than 10 minutes Questions to help with problem of duplication Housing status questions Family members Special circumstances 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

24 Who Is Surveyed? Screening Question: Have you had any difficulty with housing in the past month? 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

25 Where To Survey Where people go for services Where people congregate On the telephone Where people live -- Count people living in dilapidated housing, abandoned trailers, farm buildings, or encampments 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

26 Preparing for the Count Potential participating organizations/locations for administering the survey DFACS Housing Authority Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens Clothing Programs Shelters Community Service Boards Health Department Nonprofits Day Labor Sites 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

27 Other contacts Local government Police Chief and Sheriff Media Churches Family Connections School and hospital social workers Others 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

28 What a Successful Count Needs All of the identified organizations on- board and organized to collect the surveys Trained staff and volunteers Community support Planning well in advance of PIT Incentives for some locations 2009 Georgia Homeless Count

29 Timeline Decision to Count – August 2008 Count Coordinator Training – September 2009 Monthly Conference Calls – October- December 2008 Training Volunteers – January 2009 Count – January 26-January 30 (PIT Jan. 25) Submit Data – February 2009 Results Back – May 2009

30 Contact: Lindsey Stillman Want to be part of the 2009 count? 2009 Georgia Homeless Count


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